Exiqon launches ProbeLibrary gene expression kits

Related tags Gene expression Dna Polymerase chain reaction Gene

Exiqon has launched two new ProbeLibrary expression analysis kits,
covering the genomes of Arabidopsis thaliana and
Drosophila melanogaster, the most widely used models in
disease process and drug target studies.

The ProbeLibrary kits are the first products to provide genome-wide real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for these two important model organisms. The kits will allow researchers to study the function of specific genes through genome-wide screens - a first step in shedding new light on disease processes and possible drug targets.

The strength of the ProbeLibrary concept lies in its flexibility. As soon as an annotated genome becomes available, a new ProbeLibrary supported by a genome specific assay design software in a matter of weeks. This opens up the possibility for custom expression libraries for customers.

In addition to this the format is also compatible with any of the existing 10 000+ installed base of real-time PCR detection instruments currently on the market.

These new product releases follow Exiqon's May launch of the human and mouse ProbeLibrary kits and the recent launch of the rat ProbeLibrary. The ProbeLibrary series now support close to 2 million real time PCR assays. The company claim the new ProbeLibrary kits respectively detect 99 and 98 per cent of the D melanogaster​ and A thaliana​ transcripts currently in the Ensembl database.

Søren Echwald, director of business development at Exiqon​ told DrugResearcher.com​: "We decided to launch this product as a simplified way to identify genes in 24 hours as opposed to previous assay designs that can take up to 1-3 weeks wait. Speed is of the essence in an industry such as drug R&D."

"We believe that even a drug that is released up to six months earlier can save up to $100 million (€77.1 million). This is crucially important as pharma companies only have a limited period to recoup costs before generic versions appear on the market.

Currently there are two kinds of technology on the market that can identify genes. Specific probes that target the gene and certain dyes that bind to the DNA, a process known as intercalation.

The two kits were designed to facilitate the use of genomic information from these key model organisms for gene expression analysis. Together with the mouse and rat kits, Exiqon's products cover the most important model organisms used in biomedical research.

Exiqon expects to generate significant interest with the new kits, since there are currently no other products supporting genome-wide coverage of quantitative gene expression assays for these organisms on the market.

Exiqon's products contrast with companies such as Applied Biosystems, which produce and ship individual assays for each individual gene. There is also the problem of distributing these assays under temperature-controlled conditions.

"We're confident that we can take quite a large market share of the gene expression anaysis product market. The potential is there to also generate a larger market as more research will be achieved in less time."

Echwald commented: "Something as broad and non-specific as microarray technology and its ability to examine 40 000 genes needs additional validation. That's where our product comes in. We're confident that this product can go some way in removing the bottleneck that has built up and become such a problem in the drug discovery industry."

The kits as well as the supporting Assay Design software are available from the company's web site at a cost of €2900.

Related topics Preclinical Research

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